A British company hopes to revolutionise keyhole surgery – with a robot a third the size of existing devices. Cambridge Medical Robotics claim that their robot arm, which is controlled by a surgeon, will be suitable for use in delicate keyhole surgical operations. Called Versius, it will be able to carry out hernia repairs, colorectal operations, prostate surgery and ear nose and throat surgery. Widely-used existing robots are around three times bigger than Versius. But CMR believe their'Versius' machine will be more useful to surgeons as they will be smaller and cheaper.
A patient has become the first in Britain to be operated on for major cancer surgery by a robot. Dean Walter, 41, had a full pelvic extraction in which his bladder, prostate, rectum and lower colon were removed through a cut in his abdomen only 2in wide. The operation usually requires a surgeon and three assistants to cut the patient open from their chest to their groin. Mr Walter, a former fitness model, would have needed three weeks in hospital to recover from traditional surgery – but he was ready to go home eight days after the robotic procedure for rectal cancer. It was done using a £2million Da Vinci Xi robot, which has four arms for cutting tissue, sealing blood vessels and filming inside the body with a 3D camera.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. But help in beating this form of life-threatening disease is coming in an usual form - from robots. A revolutionary form of surgery that uses a state-of-the-art robot to remove tumours has treated more than 350 patients in its first 18 months in a hospital in Wales. A revolutionary form of surgery which uses a state-of-the-art robot to remove tumours has treated more than 350 patients in its first 18 months in a hospital in Wales. Named the da Vinci robot, the equipment is being used three days a week in the University Hospital of Wales, and solely on prostate cancer patients.
It is the most exacting of surgical skills: tying a knot deep inside a patient's abdomen, pivoting long graspers through keyhole incisions with no direct view of the thread. Trainee surgeons typically require 60 to 80 hours of practice, but in a mock-up operating theatre outside Cambridge, a non-medic with just a few hours of experience is expertly wielding a hook-shaped needle – in this case stitching a square of pink sponge rather than an artery or appendix. The feat is performed with the assistance of Versius, the world's smallest surgical robot, which could be used in NHS operating theatres for the first time later this year if approved for clinical use. Versius is one of a handful of advanced surgical robots that are predicted to transform the way operations are performed by allowing tens or hundreds of thousands more surgeries each year to be carried out as keyhole procedures. "The vast majority of patients, despite all the advantages of minimal-access surgery, are still getting open surgery, because so few surgeons have the skills," said Mark Slack, head of gynaecology at Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, and co-founder of CMR Surgical, the company behind Versius.
These days, not everyone in the operating room is human. Traditionally, for many procedures, patients would be opened up with large incisions during surgery. Laproscopy -- also known as keyhole surgery -- made those incisions far smaller. Now, in a growing number of hospitals around the world, surgeons are getting extra support from robotic systems that allow them to carry out precise procedures through tiny openings in their patients' bodies, giving less scarring and a shorter recovery time. Dr Mark Soliman, a consultant surgeon at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, uses the da Vinci system by Intuitive Surgical for colorectal surgery.